My question is: what is a method (step-by-step recipe) in catholic moral theology? Optatam totius 16 provides the following guidelines for the dogmatic theology:
- Biblical topics
- Patristic reflections
- Further evaluation of the topic
- Speculation with Thomas Aquinas
- Presence of mysteries in liturgy and life of church
- Solution of people's problems
- Adequate communication of results
For the moral theology, there is no list like that. We only read:
Likewise let the other theological disciplines be renewed through a more living contact with the mystery of Christ and the history of salvation. Special care must be given to the perfecting of moral theology. Its scientific exposition, nourished more on the teaching of the Bible, should shed light on the loftiness of the calling of the faithful in Christ and the obligation that is theirs of bearing fruit in charity for the life of the world.
I guess that there might be several alternative methods in moral theology to study a specific phenomenon. Perhaps, they might differ for studying a specific situation (e.g. what is a just reward for a specific work) and for analysis of abstract topics (e.g. to what extend is Reiki acceptable for catholics).
The accepted answer will provide a step-by-step way how to work in catholic moral theology, possibly justified and linked to some relevant documents.
Thank you for your help.